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My Kindergartner Reverses His Letters

Allison Gardenswartz
Allison Gardenswartz

By Allison Gardenswartz, Consulting Educator

Question:

My son reverses some of his letters. Should I point this out to him, or is this just part of learning to write? How can I help him to write the letters the correct way?

Answer:

Reversals in letter formation are very common at this age. It is most important to teach him the correct order or process in which to form the letters - which lines to make first.

Most elementary schools teach D'Nealian printing, which leads nicely into cursive writing in the later years. You should correct his errors by modeling the correct formation. But don't tell him he did it wrong. Ask him if he can "try it this way."

Kindergartners are very tactile. Another great idea is to practice forming letters in sand, or you can put uncooked rice in a box without a lid and ask him to trace letters in it. Then shake the box to have a clean slate, and he can continue to practice. The idea is that the process is fun at this age as motor skills develop. You want to help him get excited about writing without being frustrated.

Allison Gardenswartz is the founder of a San Diego tutoring center specializing in gifted and remedial learning and test preparation studies. An educator for over 15 years, Allison is an expert in identifying and enhancing the learning abilities of school-age children. Allison now fully devotes her time to parent education, consulting and college counseling. Allison has a teaching credential and has taught for several years in various public school systems. She has three children: Jacob, 11, Sofia, 7, and newly adopted Ryan, who is 3.

Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.